Rajendra Pachauri, head of the the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) since 2002, has stepped down amidst a sexual harassment scandal. In his letter of resignation to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Pachauri declared:
"For me the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma."
In Hinduism dharma is the path of righteousness.
Pachauri has been criticized by many for righteously confusing climate change science with climate policy advocacy. For example, in its 2010 review of IPCC processes, the InterAcademy Council observed:
IPCC leaders have been criticized for making public statements that were perceived as advocating specific climate policies. Straying into advocacy can only hurt IPCC's credibility.
Here's hoping that the next leader of the IPCC will welcome scientific criticism and emphasize information and decisionmaking transparency.